Now BJP veteran O Rajagopal claims tie-up between his party and Cong-IUML in past polls

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Thiruvananthapuram, Mar 17 (PTI) Former union minister and senior BJP leader O Rajagopal on Wednesday kicked up a controversy in poll-bound Kerala claiming there were 'adjustments' between UDF partners Congress and IUML and his party in past elections in order to defeat the CPI(M).

Rajagopal, an MLA, made the remark to TV channels a day after another senior BJP leader R Balashankar alleged there was a 'CPI(M)-BJP deal' in some constituencies, a statement dismissed by his party as an emotional reaction owing to denial of ticket for him to contest the April 6 assembly elections.

Latching on to Rajagopal's claim, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the senior BJP leader's 'revelation reiterates the unholy nexus' and asked why the Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League had helped it.

The CPI(M) has been alleging there was a 'Co-Le-B alliance' (Congress-Muslim League-BJP) for long against the Left party, which had been denied by the latter.

On the other hand, the Congress-led UDF has been accusing the CPI-M of having a secret pact with the BJP.

The 91-year old Rajagopal, the lone BJP leader to emerge victorious in the 2016 elections, said there were some 'adjustments' in earlier elections in certain constituencies as part of 'practical politics'.

'There were many instances of Co-Le-B alliance. In certain seats there were some adjustments. It was an open matter. All the three were not together but independently supporting each other to defeat the CPI(M) and to ensure votes for the BJP,' he said.

When asked whether it has helped BJP in any manner, the senior leader said it contributed to higher vote share.

He said the alliance was forged in the constituencies including Ottapalam and Manjeshwaram.

Vijayan took to the twitter to attack the Congress and IUML.

'Kerala's senior most BJP leader and their lone MLA confirms Co-Lea-B alliance. His revelation reiterates the unholy Kerala level nexus. Will @INCIndiaand @iumlofficial clarify why they helped BJP?,' the Marxist veteran said.

During the local body polls held in December last year also, Vijayan had raised the matter and said the 'infamous Congress-League-BJP team' will repeat their alliance.

There was no reaction yet from either the BJP or the Congress-IUML to the claim of Rajagopal.

During a special assembly session in December last, Rajagopal had caused an embarrassment to BJP by supporting a resolution seeking scrapping of the three contentious central farm laws.

After asserting that he supported the resolution, the veteran leader, however, made a u-turn hours later, saying he had 'strongly opposed' it in the House and sought to blame the Speaker for not clearly asking those who were opposing and those who seconded the resolution during the voice vote. PTI RRT VS VS